9 May 2015 – Sherrie is always looking for the next great Asian restaurant – particularly Thai or Chinese (and more specifically, Sichuan). She found out about a little Thai place on the North Shore in Haleiwa – Opal Thai Food. Of course we had to go. It was doubly convenient because we were planning on visiting the Dole Plantation which is only 10 minutes away from the restaurant.
Opal’s is a small restaurant (12 tables) next door to a Long’s Drugs in Haleiwa. It is run by Opal and his 12-year old son, Lio. Opal meets you at the door, seats you at your table and then asks you if you like Thai food. If you respond yes he will ask you what Thai dish you last ate and to list five Thai dishes. If you can answer the question he throws the menus on the floor and asks you for your favorite ingredients and plans a menu for your table based on your favorite things.
He brought us fish cakes with a wonderful red pepper sauce, shrimp noodles for the kids, a bowl of curry soup for two, garlic sweet fried chicken, and larb gai with lettuce wraps. All amazing.
Opal, his son, and his staff are wonderfully welcoming and take the time with each table to talk and make sure that everything is perfect – waters are always full, napkins were replaced several times, etc. Exceptional service.
They loved the children and took Lucas into the kitchen to watch and Opal carried Giuliana around the restaurant. Lio and Lucas made fast friends and Lio made Lucas a rubber band bracelet with a button he had found. We will definitely return.
Lucas and Lio at Opal Thai Food
From lunch we headed to the Dole Plantation – now a tourist spot located on the spot of the original 60 acres of James Dole’s first pineapple field in the Hawaiian islands (which further expanded to Maui and Lanai). The kids loved the train, the maze, and the pineapple ice cream. We also attended a pineapple demonstration where they discuss how to pick, slice, and grow a pineapple (it takes 20 months for a plant to bear fruit).
Aurelia, Isabella, and Lucas in front of the Dole Plantation
They loved taking the train through the pineapple fields and looking at all of the various plants: banana, Ti, breadfruit, coffee, pineapple, mango, papaya, etc.
Sitting in front of us on the train were two very friendly Korean ladies who took a liking to the children and gave Sherrie a small pineapple necklace (“for the beautiful lady”). Of course I had to oblige them with a photograph 🙂
Korean ladies with Lucas, Aurelia, and Isabella on Dole plantation train
We then walked through the world’s largest maze in search of the eight stations where you stencil a unique design on the back of your ticket.
We finished our time at the plantation with their famous pineapple ice cream.
Lucas, Aurelia, and Isabella after ice cream at the Dole Plantation
Growing pineapple at the Dole Plantation
A gecko in a pineapple plant
Dole plantation banana tree
After the plantation we headed back and hit the pool for an hour before dinner 🙂 No day would be complete without swimming in Hawaii!